Espionage

Article

May 28, 2022

Espionage has been practiced and thought of since antiquity. According to Sun Tzu, in The Art of War, it is an act only allowed between belligerents, nations, guerrilla groups in war and/or guerrillas. It has been part of what we normally call Intelligence, and consists of the practice of obtaining confidential information related to governments or organizations, without their authorization, to obtain a certain military, political, economic, scientific, technological and/or social advantage. The practice usually manifests itself as part of an organized effort (that is, as the action of a government or business group). A spy is an agent employed to obtain such secrets. The definition has been restricted to a State that spies on potential or actual enemies, primarily for military purposes, but it also covers espionage involving companies, enemies between them, competitors and in "guerrilla warfare"; in (known as industrial espionage) and individuals, through hiring private detectives, whenever espionage there is a dispute. The activity has specific spy devices, such as hidden cameras, wiretaps and many others. In nautical, a spy is a type of cable that is also called boça and serves to tie a ship to another, in order to tow it, it is always a cable of great caliber. According to Marcelo de Montalvão, in Intelligence & Industry: Espionage and Corporate Counterespionage, "The Intelligence Activity or Information Service or Secret Service or Espionage is the implementation of a data and information collection system to identify threats and opportunities for an organization with the scope of helping the leader or decision makers in the elaboration of strategic plans or execution of tactical and operational actions of attack, maintenance and defense of that organization. Information is the product result of the systematic work of collection, analysis and delivery of data and information called Intelligence Activity".

Etymology and History

The word "espionage" comes from the French word espionner, meaning "to spy", and the classical Italian spione. The word spy originates from several ancient words meaning "to look and observe", as in Latin specere or Anglo-Norman Espeer. According to Pacheco, Such activity has been found since antiquity. The Assyrians kept Secret Police called the "Eye of the King", men who traveled in disguise making friends, establishing contacts and mixing with the population. The Persians not only learned this method, they copied it. The Romans, in turn, established four categories of informants: procursatores - scouts who went ahead of the troops - explorers - long-range scouts, who penetrated beyond enemy lines - speculators - spies located in hostile territory - and indexes - informants and co-opted confidants among enemies. In the Far East, the act of “spying” – that is, observing without being noticed – is thought of in the classic Art of War. There, Sun Tzu would have taught: "If an enlightened sovereign and his commander obtain victory whenever they enter combat and achieve extraordinary feats, it is because they have prior knowledge and can foresee the course of a war". Following in his reasoning, Sun Tzu establishes five types of informants, “(…) people who clearly know the enemy's situations” which. a general should learn to mobilize: the Natives, who live in enemy territory; Internals, who serve in the bureaucracy or enemy army; the Doubles, who are spies for the enemy who agree to work for us; the Expendables, spies who will be given false information in order to allow themselves to be caught by the enemy, and the Survivors, who are people capable of penetrating and continually returning to enemy territory.N